Feeding rates and carbon and nitrogen partitioning in crown-of-thorns sea star larvae (Acanthaster cf. solaris) during development

Patel, Frances, Zeng, Chaoshu, Logan, Murray, and Uthicke, Sven (2024) Feeding rates and carbon and nitrogen partitioning in crown-of-thorns sea star larvae (Acanthaster cf. solaris) during development. Marine Biology, 171 (2). 61.

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Crown-of-thorns sea star (CoTS; Acanthaster cf. solaris) outbreaks are a significant cause of coral decline. Enhanced food supply for the larvae via eutrophication is implicated as a cause of outbreaks, yet larval feeding ecology is poorly understood. In this study, feeding experiments were carried out at two algal food concentrations of 1000 cells mL−1 (~ 1.52 µg chl a L−1) and 3000 cells mL−1 (~ 4.56 µg chl a L−1) across six successive larval stages to investigate the effect of food concentration on filtration rate and ingestion rate for these stages. Filtration rate increased with larval stage and more than tripled from 127 ± 32 µL larva−1 h−1 (mean ± SE) of the youngest (2–3 dpf) larvae to 497 ± 109 µL larva−1 h−1 at late brachiolaria stage (9–10 dpf). Ingestion rate increased with food concentration and larval age, with advanced brachiolaria larvae consuming 313.5 ± 39.1 cells larva−1 h−1 in the higher algal food treatment. Organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) measured in larvae and their food indicated that the youngest feeding larvae ingested 13% their body carbon content daily, with that number almost doubling to 24% by advanced bipinnaria stage. The C/N ratio decreased sharply for brachiolaria larvae, reflecting developmental changes and greater dependence on exogenous nutrition. These results add to our understanding of the role food concentration plays in the growth and survivorship of CoTS larvae in the field.

Item ID: 82070
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Keywords: Carbon, Filtration rate, Larval feeding ecology, Nitrogen, Phytoplankton, Planktotrophic larvae
Copyright Information: © Crown 2024. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2024 04:34
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 60%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310913 Invertebrate biology @ 20%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310904 Animal diet and nutrition @ 20%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180503 Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in marine environments @ 100%
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